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“Garden of Eden”
Review of Encanta La Vida

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Encanta La Vida
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 9, 2013

I spent a week here with a group on a yoga retreat. Everything was perfect, a little primitive for some but I wasn't looking for ordinary. I felt at home in this paradise. Everyone did their job exceptionally well, but more importantly, made personal connections feel natural. Food, bar, housekeeping was wonderful. Kate made my feet feel fabulous with a reflexology treatment. Nature hike with Andy was enlightening, paddle boarding with Pollo - he was patient with this exhausted 57 year old woman. Just sitting and watching the birds, bugs and other creatures was fantastic, the fragrance of ylang ylang wafted through the yard from time to time. Getting there from San Jose was a perfect adventure. Flying with Sansa was great, arriving beside the cemetery was interesting, the trip to ELV w Denise and return w/ Chon was great. Language differences do not stop communication. I completed my trip with an evening conversation with a 5 year old boy from Sweden (we did a lot of pointing to animal pictures) he knew no English and I knew only a swedish nursery rhyme. Stopping in the church by the runway Sunday morning capped off my visit. Santo, Santo, Santo Senor.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Carol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Theresa H, General Manager at Encanta La Vida, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

It was our pleasure to host your group! We hope you'll come back again soon and bring your family and/or friends! Good luck in 2013 and remember to ENJOY everyday!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 98 of 174 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2013

Our family of four (two adult 'kids' and our parents) stayed here in Jan 2013. We stayed in the Casa Hoy, which is actually used for overflow when the rest of the resort is full, and we loved it. We had plenty of space to enjoy some time alone, but also had relaxing game nights on the decks and watched the monkeys swing by for hours.

Encanta is the perfect place if you truly want an adventure. We loved hiking, swimming, observing the various wildlife, and just relaxing at the pool. The staff could not have been any more accommodating, and we left feeling like we would miss them! The food was incredible, and very fresh/healthy. We loved the drinks, and the bartenders were fabulous- serving up local creations with fresh mangoes, etc. I'd absolutely go back!

This is not like going to some generic resort, it's a ecolodge, so I wouldn't recommend it to a high-maintenance friend-- but if you're up for really experiencing the jungle, it cannot be beat.

The weather in January was stunning, hot, sunny, but there's enough shade around to cool off.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Bee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stayed at Encanta la Vida in January, 2013 and enjoyed every minute of it. The Pole House was lovely! In the first five minutes on the deck we saw monkeys settling in for the night in nearby trees, Scarlet Macaws flying by, and Blue Morpho Butterflies flitting through the nearby plants. We knew, then, that we had chosen a great place to spend the majority of our Costa Rica vacation. The staff were great, food fresh and delicious, and the service terrific. Beaches are just a five minute walk away, the jungle is all around you, and the resort's pool is a great place to cool off after a day's adventure. When we return to Costa Rica, Encanta la Vida will definitely be on the list for a return visit.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
Thank beekpr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We just returned from a week at Encanta La Vida and are already planning our next visit. What a special place! We stayed in the Ranchito Cabina and loved it. It was cozy with an excellent shower and a fantastic deck where you can relax and let the jungle action come to you. Meals at ELV are served family style and are outstanding. The staff did a great job of accommodating my wife's vegetarian diet. Highlights of our trip included stand-up paddle boarding (coordinated by ELV staff), hikes through the jungle to local waterfalls, yoga on ELV's incredible yoga deck on the edge of the jungle overlooking Pan Dulce, the local Friday night market, socializing with other guests at ELV's poolside bar before dinner, walking the pristine beaches nearby, viewing all of the stunning jungle plants and wildlife, and just totally decompressing. If you're looking for an authentic, laid back experience in the beach-side jungle, Encanta la Vida is the place for you.

Room Tip: The Pole House rooms have been updated recently and look great too.
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Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Encanta la Vida for 6 nights: 3 nights in the Honeymoon Cabina and 3 nights in the Casona 2. Each had their advantages. The Honeymoon Cabina is very private. It’s at the end of the path and does not have an upstairs/downstairs neighbor. It has a lovely, large bathroom and veranda. The best part about it is that it has a small yard area in the front that is a gathering place for wildlife. Our first day there a group of squirrel monkeys came through. It was just delightful watching them! The Cabina 2 is smaller and it’s located on the second floor above the office so it’s near the pool and the dining room. The best part of this room is the large second floor deck (with his and hers hammocks!). One afternoon during hammock time, a group of Capuchin monkeys came by. One of them even sat for a moment on the rail of the deck!

The room rate includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meals were delicious. I particularly enjoyed the lunches because they were typically lighter fare. My favorite dinner was a blackened Mahi Mahi. Every breakfast starts with a plate of fresh fruit and every dinner ends with a dessert. It’s not fancy but it is very well done.

We went on a number of excursions. The guided hike with Andy and Talon was a great way to start our vacation. We learned so much and got to see a poison dart frog. Kayaking on the Platanares River through a Mangrove forest was spectacular. We also took a boat across Golfo Dulce to the visit the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. The last 2 excursions required a taxi ride back to Puerto Jimenez but was worth it. We had a great taxi driver named Chon who was really game for communicating with us despite our very limited knowledge of Spanish.

It’s a short walk to the beach and we did go there several times to swim and watch the surfers but we really didn’t go for the beach. My husband and I are in our 50s but we like an adventurous vacation. There was another couple there who were a few years older than us and they spent most of the time at the beach and pool. So there’s something for everyone!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank joybug789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

LOVED Encanta La Vida, this was my favorite spot out of 4, over 14 day period. Terry and Josh were both great, very friendly & accommodating. The food was outstanding!
I loved that there was so much right within walking distance, and the wildlife was better than any I saw elsewhere! Thanks for an awesome trip, I do hope to visit again in the future. I would highly recommend this as a place to get the "real feel" of Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Barb L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

this place is one of the best places I ever travelled to. If you like wildlife right in front of your door like monkeys, aras, toucans.... then you are right here.. this place is so natural but it still has the kind of comfort you need............
the showers are working perfectly, the pool is nice and cools you down after a hot hike to the waterfalls.There are plenty of surfbords you can rent if you wanna surf one of the best reefbreaks in costa rica. While you are having a delicious lunch, the toucans and aras fly over your head and you can hear them calling.
I still miss this place and the nice people who fullfill every wish you have.
Thank you so much Josh and all others, we enjoyed the stay so much. I will never forget these Days! Patricia

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Patericia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Encanta La Vida

Address: Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range: $231 - $293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Encanta La Vida 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Encanta La Vida is an all inclusive jungle retreat located amidst the beautiful beaches of Cabo Matapalo. The hotel offers direct access to amazing wildlife and world class surf, and features a stunning, private, chemical-free soft-water swimming pool - the only of its kind in Matapalo! Encanta La Vida is the ideal vacation spot for families, honeymooners, and surfers alike. Garden trails lead you to private cabinas nestled throughout the property. The beautifully landscaped grounds provide privacy and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. Our rooms are clean and spacious with queen-sized beds and open decks. Enjoy three DELICIOUS meals a day in the Encanta La Vida restaurant featuring fresh fruits, veggies and meats all locally grown or caught off shore. The hotel bar is located just off the swimming pool and serves up blended tropical drinks and ice cold beer. Encanta La Vida is also a fun and easy destination for family reunions, weddings, and yoga groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encanta La Vida Hotel Osa Peninsula
Encanta La Vida Osa

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